De Lima: Iqbal’s use of alias doesn’t invalidate peace deal
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday said Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal’s use of his alias even on the pertinent documents to the peace process does not invalidate the peace agreement and the Bangsamoro basic bill which seeks to implement the deal.
During the House of Representatives investigation into the Mamasapano debacle Wednesday, de Lima answered a question by Antipolo Representative Romeo Acop if the use of aliases or nom de guerre would invalidate the documents Iqbal signed pertaining to the peace process.
“We’re dealing with the proposed Bangsamoro basic law, which is based on documents signed by Iqbal in using this nom de guerre. This is a ticklish issue and I hope government can come up with a stand in terms of legality with the use of nom de guerre,” Acop said, referring to the proposed law seeking to implement the peace deal with MILF and creating a more politically autonomous Bangsamoro entity.
De Lima said the only exception to the prohibited use of aliases is if it is for literary purposes and if the person has admitted that the alias is his nom de guerre.
“If the person using the nom de guerre does not deny, that his nom de guerre is in fact the one who signed the document, then I don’t see the validity of the document becoming an issue,” De Lima said.
De Lima clarified however that the law does not authorize the use of different names in public documents.
The Justice Secretary noted Iqbal’s statement that the use of aliases is a common practice among revolutionary groups.
Iqbal is accused of using different names in his passports, especially after the Bureau of Immigration said the name Mohagher Iqbal is not on its travel records.
Speculations were also rife that Iqbal is actually a Malaysian citizen. Iqbal has denied the allegation.
On Tuesday, Davao city Representative Karlo Nograles said the use of aliases violates the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-alias law which prohibit the use of pseudonyms in public documents.
The chamber is conducting its investigation on the botched Jan. 25 antiterror raid that succeeded in killing international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan but ended in the deaths of 44 SAF commandos, 18 MILF fighters and five civilians. AC
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